They scored, they scored again...and they scored again. In the opening game of the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament, the United States women showed no mercy, completely showing up the Dominican Republic. The star of the night was Amy Rodriguez who despite not coming into the game until the second half, managed to score five goals, tying the tournament record. This is also the first time the USWNT scored 14 goals in a game, setting a new team record for both goals and margin of victory. Unfortunately, the win was overshadowed by the loss of Ali Krieger, who left the first half of the game with a serious knee injury.
It didn't take long for Abby Wambach to open the game up, scoring a quick header 38 seconds into the game. She would later score another goal before being subbed out for the second half. From that point on, the US would never look back, going into halftime up 7-0. The only dark spot of the first half was Ali Krieger leaving the game with what trainers are calling a "serious" knee injury. Krieger will have the knee reevaluated tomorrow, but she was seen heading to the locker room with crutches and ice wrapped heavily around the injury.
When the second half started, it was all Amy Rodriguez. Coming into the game for Tobin Heath, A-Rod made her mark quickly, scoring her first of five goals in the 46th minute. The night was capped off with goals coming from starter Heather O'Reilly, who along with Rodriguez, scored a hat trick.
Despite such a large margin of victory, head coach Pia Sundhage could be seen celebrating after each goal, giving high fives to players and staff. This caused some controversy during and after the game, with many believing that Sundhage should have toned it down after her team ha clearly won the game. Playing such a low ranked team (88th) like the Dominican Republic made the showboating come off a little worse than it may have actually been. There are many people that believe that the Dominican Republic are not yet ready to be involved in this tournament, as their national team is still in development. Even still, Sundhage might need to keep her emotions a touch more in check when it comes time for the next game.
The USWNT move on to their second game in group play against Guatemala this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Guatemala lost their first game in group play 5-0 against Mexico. The US will almost definitely be going into that game on a high after their dominating performance tonight. At this point, it seems as if Pia Sundhage will have to tweak her starting line up, with the full extent of Ali Krieger's injury not yet known.